According to a recent interpretation, the child’s right to the respect of private life, under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, requires the States to provide for the possibility of recognizing the relationship of parentage between a non-biological mother and a child born through surrogacy. 

According to the interpretation of the European Court of Human Rights, surrogacy established abroad shall also be recognized by the national legislation of the States by transcription of the birth certificate or by adoption, even if the surrogacy technique is prohibited.

Specifically, the case concerns a French couple who had a daughter in the United States through surrogacy, thus obtaining the regular birth certificate attesting the parenthood of both spouses. Once back in France, however, the authorities had registered the relationship of parentage with only the biological father, since the prohibition of surrogacy by French Law.

The ECHR intervened by stating that this involved a violation of Article 8 of the Convention, since the kinship is a fundamental aspect of the identity of the individual. Although the French authorities have guaranteed an ordinary family relationship, the uncertainty of the legal status of the child would undermine his identity within society.

Concluding, the European Court of Human Rights specified that the Convention does not oblige States to recognize an original relationship between a child and a non-biological mother, but obliges States to recognize at least a family relationship between the two. This can be done through the recognition of the birth certificate or even through a timely and effective adoption procedure. 

In Italy surrogacy is prohibited and obtaining a birth certificate can be difficult. For this reason, VGS Lawyers can help you with the recognition of maternity or consider other ways, such as adoption.